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Sixth Form study skills - tips needed!

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by DarbustheDeranged, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. I'm a new Head of VI Form in a smallish rural school. Our SLT go for the "immersion" thing in Yr 11, meaning that our students come out of KS4 with good exam results but poor independent study skills. In Yr 12, it's the opposite, and so our AS results don't match our KS4 results. I am now tasked with dealing with this. Does anyone have any tips/resources/ideas for resources to help? VI Form tutors see their groups for 10 mins every day and then once per fortnight for an hour long extended tutor, so time is short. I want general study skills stuff rather than subject specific.
    Any ideas gratefully received!
     
  2. I'm a new Head of VI Form in a smallish rural school. Our SLT go for the "immersion" thing in Yr 11, meaning that our students come out of KS4 with good exam results but poor independent study skills. In Yr 12, it's the opposite, and so our AS results don't match our KS4 results. I am now tasked with dealing with this. Does anyone have any tips/resources/ideas for resources to help? VI Form tutors see their groups for 10 mins every day and then once per fortnight for an hour long extended tutor, so time is short. I want general study skills stuff rather than subject specific.
    Any ideas gratefully received!
     
  3. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Hi JennyCameron, welcome to TESForum. Before I answer your question, if this is your real name then I suggest changing it to one that can't be identified by the school in the future, as you never know who will read your comments, and how they may be used to judge you.
    Back to your question....
    This is a growing issue in many Sixth Forms. Students have been pretty much force fed with a big spoon of 'immersion' and come out with sometimes grossly inflated grades, expecting to get high grades at A-Level. In many cases this doesn't happen for several reasons...
    1. Teachers in GCSE set up intensive 'intervention' of students, running revision classes, almost force feeding exam papers, technique and ways of passing an exam.
    2. GCSE students do very little, until it is exam time.
    3. GCSE's require different skills needed for A-Level study.
    All the above results in the issues you have highlighted. There are things that you can do, but will need to make changes to the structure of how your school is working.
    One question I did have for you, do you provide other lessons or enrichment time for students apart from registration, bi-weekly tutorial and A-level subject lessons? If not, then this is how you can provide some sort of skills related curriculum.
    The following is the type of thing you could look at to improve the current situation, however, it depends on your school and the students that you have in your Sixth Form.
    1. Enrichment opportunities - organise sesions whereby students gain trnasferable skills, including independent skills e.g. Duke of Edinburgh, CSLA, community work
    2. Extended Project Qualification - the taught element is all about independent learning skills.
    Check this website out for resources:
    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/schoolsandcolleges/post-16/epq/support/
    3. Your Head of Year needs to identify struggling students and intervene at an early stage. Interviews, support meetings, organisation skills, more targeted use of 'frees' - this word is banned in my Sixth form, I call them 'Study periods' . Even considered supervised study periods for the first half term and then when students have shown commitment give them permision to study without supervision. You need to keep tabs on students, using reporting systems, good communication with staff.
    4. Tutorial system - this hour is important and shouldn't be overlooked. A good programme of activitiy, information and skills based teaching is required. Again, tutors need to be aware of the importance of the programme, and so need resources well before the tutorial.
    5. Do you have a good librarian? If so, they may want to be involved with skills based teaching.
    In some schools I've seen they actually provide skills based subject related learning as an extra, although this is expensive in terms of staffing.
    One final thing, AS results always dip, as many students haven't developed the required skills that sometimes take time to acquire. Remember to look at January resit strategies to improve overall UMS marks.
    As funding becomes a bigger issue, I am sure most schools will have pressure to take more students into the Sixth Form, with some who just don't have the required skills to succeed at A-Level. Look at alternative curricula, e.g Applied A-levels, Higher level BTEC etc, although these things need staffing.
    A skills curriculum cannot be overlooked for many students in a Sixth Form.
    Good Luck [​IMG]


     
  4. There is a free eBook - "You Too Can Study More Easily: Tips for Dummies and Others" - that your students might find useful. It can be downloaded from www.keweipress.com



    Disclaimer: I wrote it!
     

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